Americans to begin saying their goodbyes to George H.W. Bush
WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans will begin saying goodbye to former President George H.W. Bush on Monday when his body arrives in Washington for public viewing in the Capitol Rotunda — a rare honor that will be bestowed on a man who earned the respect and admiration of many with his leadership, bravery and grace.
The public viewing will kick off four days of events that will include a state funeral at Washington’s National Cathedral on Wednesday and a private service at Bush’s longtime church in Houston on Thursday. But tributes from leaders around the world have been pouring in since his death Friday night.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell called him “a perfect American” for how “he served the country in so many capacities.”
“He never forgot who he was,” Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during Bush’s presidency, told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “He never let it all go to his head. He was a man of great humility.”
Bush, who died at his Houston home at age 94, will be buried Thursday on the grounds of his presidential library at Texas A&M University.
US-China trade truce seen boosting US stock market
WASHINGTON (AP) — The truce in the trade dispute between the U.S. and China should boost rattled financial markets, at least through the year’s end, experts say. But the stock market’s recent wild gyrations likely will persist as the two countries strain to reach a permanent accord.
“The all-clear sign hasn’t flashed yet but it’s certainly positive news,” says Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E-Trade.
The U.S. was set to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods on Jan. 1. President Donald Trump agreed Saturday in a meeting in Buenos Aires with Chinese Leader Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit to hold off for 90 days while the two sides try to settle their differences.
That looming deadline, as well as Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on an additional $267 billion of goods from China, possibly including iPhones and laptops, had contributed to sharp declines in stocks since early October.
The agreement buys time for the two countries to try to work out their differences in a fight over China’s aggressive drive to acquire advanced technologies.
Paris assesses injuries, damage after worst riot in decade
PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron asked for an evaluation of possible protest security measures Sunday, a day after a Paris demonstration against increased taxes and living costs devolved into France’s worst urban riot in a decade.
Hours after he flew back to the French capital from the G-20 summit in Argentina, Macron held an emergency meeting at the Elysee presidential palace while crews worked to remove charred cars, broken glass and graffiti from the famed Champs-Elysees Avenue and other top Paris sites.
Paris police said 133 people were injured, including 23 police officers, as crowds trashed the streets of the capital Saturday. Officers fired tear gas and used water cannon to tamp down the violence as protesters torched cars, smashed windows, looted stores and tagged the Arc de Triomphe with spray paint.
Paris police Prefect Michel Delpuech said some officers described encountering “unprecedented” violence, including protesters using hammers, gardening tools, bolts, aerosol cans as well as rocks in physical confrontations.
Some radical far-right and far-left activists were involved in the riot, as well as a “great number” of protesters wearing yellow jackets, Delpuech said. The fluorescent jackets, which French motorists are required to have in their cars for emergencies, are an emblem of a grassroots citizens’ movement protesting fuel taxes.
Could anyone have stopped gene-edited babies experiment?
HONG KONG (AP) — Early last year, a little-known Chinese researcher turned up at an elite meeting in Berkeley, California, where scientists and ethicists were discussing a technology that had shaken the field to its core — an emerging tool for “editing” genes, the strings of DNA that form the blueprint of life.
The young scientist, He Jiankui, saw the power of this tool, called CRISPR, to transform not only genes, but also his own career.
In visits to the United States, he sought out CRISPR pioneers such as Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University’s Dr. Matthew Porteus, and big thinkers on its use, like Stanford ethicist Dr. William Hurlbut.
Last week, those shocked researchers watched as He hijacked an international conference they helped organize with an astonishing claim: He said he helped make the world’s first gene-edited babies , despite clear scientific consensus that making genetic changes that could be passed to future generations should not be attempted at this point .
U.S. National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins called He’s experiment “a misadventure of a major sort” — starring “a scientist who apparently believed that he was a hero. In fact, he crossed every line, scientifically and ethically.”
Analysis: On this Trump trip, low drama, signs of acceptance
WASHINGTON (AP) — If there has been a constant to President Donald Trump’s tumultuous first two years in office, it has been that his foreign trips have tended to be drama-filled affairs — the president barreling through international gatherings like a norm-smashing bull, disrupting alliances and upending long-standing U.S. policies. But at this year’s Group of 20 summit, Trump appeared to settle in among his global peers.
A brisk two days in Argentina saw Trump reach a trade ceasefire with China and sign a three-way trade deal with Mexico and Canada. With little public spectacle, he joined the leaders of the other member nations on the traditional group statement. He buddied up with traditional allies and largely avoided controversial strongmen. Faced with Russia’s spiking aggression in Ukraine, he canceled his sit-down with Vladimir Putin. And when former President George H.W. Bush died, Trump gave respectful remarks and canceled what would likely have been a raucous press conference.
All told, for the often-undisciplined leader, the whirlwind trip was an unusual moment of Zen.
Trump’s election forced the world to reckon with sweeping populist movements and the impact of globalization. In the first two years of his presidency, he has brusquely rejected international engagement for what he views as a single-minded focus on U.S. national interests.
Public and private interactions with world leaders over his 48 hours in Argentina demonstrated Trump does have the capacity for restraint. And other world leaders, for their part, showed grumbling acceptance of Trump’s untraditional stylings.
Coal question looms large as climate talks begin in Poland
KATOWICE, Poland (AP) — Negotiators from around the world opened the United Nations’ annual climate change conference Sunday in a Polish city built around mining coal, widely seen as a main culprit behind global warming.
Arriving for two weeks of talks on tackling climate change, conference participants cast off hats, scarves and heavy coats as they entered cavernous halls in Katowice heated by coal-fired power plants nearby.
Coal is center-stage at the U.N. summit, which is taking place three years after a landmark deal in Paris set a goal of keeping global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
While the Polish government claims Katowice is in the process of transforming into a green city , power plant chimneys pumped plumes of smoke into a dull December sky and monitoring sites showed elevated levels of air pollution.
Poland, which is presiding over the meeting, plans to use Monday’s official opening event to promote a declaration calling for a “just transition” for fossil fuel industries that face cuts and closures amid efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Earthquake doesn’t disrupt food, fuel supply to Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The supply chain of food and other goods delivered to the Port of Anchorage from the Lower 48 has not been disrupted by the powerful earthquake that caused widespread damage to roads in the Anchorage area.
“The ships are coming in on schedule, the supply lines are at this point uninterrupted,” Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz said Sunday at a news conference.
The magnitude 7.0 earthquake rattled the state’s largest city early Friday morning swaying buildings and fraying nerves. There were no reports of deaths, serious injuries or structural damage to buildings.
Roads, however, took the brunt of the damage, especially the scenic Glenn Highway, the closest thing Alaska has to an interstate and links the state’s largest city to suburban communities to the north.
Traffic has been snarled since the quake. Delays came as drivers were diverted around road damage on temporary detours or the highway was reduced to one lane while crews try to reconstruct the roadway after the temblor caused sinkholes and buckled pavement.
Synagogue holds Hannukah ceremony at mass shooting site
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Sunday’s public lighting of a Menorah outside a Pittsburgh synagogue where 11 people were killed in a mass shooting was an opportunity to honor the dead, mark Hanukkah’s theme of survival and allow the community to reinforce its solidarity.
“To me, it’s a simple message: The light is the message,” Rabbi Jeffrey Myers said, pointing to the Menorah standing at the corner where a makeshift memorial for the 11 victims once stood and was visited by thousands paying their respects.
Five weeks after the massacre — believed to be the deadliest attack on Jews in the U.S. — about 500 people gathered outside Tree of Life to pray, sing songs and witness the lighting of the Menorah.
“We are practicing our Jewish faith publicly and proudly,” said Stephen Cohen, co-president of New Light, whose congregation, along with congregants from Dor Hadash and Tree of Life, had gathered at the synagogue when the shooting occurred Oct. 27.
The fact that hundreds of people showed up for the ceremony came as no surprise to officials of the three congregations.
Kennedy Center Honors program opens with applause for Bush
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Kennedy Center Honors program celebrating cultural achievement opened Sunday with a standing ovation for the late President George H.W. Bush as host Gloria Estefan recounted his attendance at the arts event in previous years.
“Before we begin with a tribute to our first honoree,” Estefan said, “I think it’s appropriate to recognize the passing of a wonderful man who dedicated his life to service and who graciously attended this event many times during his administration, laughing, applauding, singing along and even shedding a tear from right up there in the presidential box.”
Bush died Friday at the age of 94.
For the second straight year, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump declined an invitation to the awards. They returned to Washington before dawn Sunday from the Group of 20 summit in Argentina.
This year’s honorees for lifetime achievements in the arts were Cher, composer Philip Glass, country music legend Reba McEntire and jazz icon Wayne Shorter. A special award went to the co-creators of “Hamilton” for their genre-bending musical.
Green Bay Packers fire coach Mike McCarthy
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers have fired coach Mike McCarthy and made offensive coordinator Joe Philbin the interim head coach.
The move announced by team president Mark Murphy came after a stunning 20-17 loss on Sunday to the Arizona Cardinals, dropping Green Bay to 4-7-1.
Murphy, in a statement, said the 2018 season “has not lived up to the expectations and standards of the Green Bay Packers. As a result, I made the difficult decision to relieve Mike McCarthy of his role as head coach, effective immediately.”
Murphy said the process of hiring the next head coach would begin immediately.
McCarthy was in his 13th season as coach. The Packers won the Super Bowl under McCarthy in the 2010 season. He finishes with a record of 125-77-2.
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